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Sports Medicine Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons, Ras, and Nevit Dilmen

FAI: Arthroscopic Treatment Offers Athletes Faster Recovery

Tracey Romero • Tue, November 28th, 2017

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A new study, “Return to Play After Hip Arthroscopic Surgery for Femoroacetabular Impingement in Professional Soccer Players,” was published online November 14, 2017 in The American Journal of Sports Medicine has found that professional soccer players who undergo hip arthroscopic surgery for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) have a high return to play rate.

To conduct the study, the researchers evaluated data on professional soccer players who had hip arthroscopic surgery for FAI by a single surgeon between 2005 and 2015. Data was collected from medical records and websites like,, and The researchers looked for information on each player’s professional career, participation on the national team, length of professional career before surgery, number of games before surgery, time between surgery and first appearance in a professional game, and the number of games after surgery.

In total, 24 professional soccer players (26 hips) were included in the study. The players’ ages ranged from 19 to 32 years. According to the data, 96% of the patients were able to return to play at the professional level. Recovery time was typically about nine months and most players played in 70 games after surgery.

The authors noted that “severe chondral damage and microfracture did not interfere with return to play and that “players with national team experience were able to return to play earlier than those without it.”

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